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Brian, you say that we 'should respect fellow evangelicals wrestling with a problem of interpretation.' There are issues which tax the minds of even the greatest scholars but on this I don't think that there is a problem. I, like others, have spent many hours researching the evidence but the Biblical teaching still seems clear and unambiguous to me. It's the application of that teaching which I am wrestling with, not the teaching itself. How do we make the church a place where people who are gay feel welcome, even loved, even though we do not condone their lifestyle? Tony Campolo says that we have convinced gay people that God hates them but now we have to convince them that He loves them. There's a lot of work which needs to be done. Brian you say 'I hope folks can see that for many in the BU and the EA, this isn't the old evangelical / liberal divide, nor is it a new downgrade with evangelicals becoming liberal, but a debate between evangelicals about what the authoritative word says to this new phenomenon.' As a friend and fellow Baptist minister, I know that this is how it seems to you but I think Malcolm could be right. I was saying to someone only yesterday that I think that the church is facing a challenge to hold firmly onto scripture in the midst of the current storm. I believe that we need to be alert without being alarmist.
Very helpful article. You said "The Bible’s teaching and the historic teaching of the church on the issue of human sexuality seem to be one of the clearest threads of Scripture to me." I agree wholeheartedly with this and I think that it gets to the crux of the issue. There really is very little room for manouvere. Thanks Malcolm
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Jan 18, 2013